Argentina has once again accused the British Government of ‘militarizing’ the South Atlantic.
Speaking at the CELAC summit in Chile, the Argentine Representative said that the Falkland Islands were now one of the “most militarized territories in the world,” and accused the British of moving troops in to enable it to exploit the oil reserves recently confirmed as lying within the archipelago’s EEZ.
“The British government is after the military control of the South Atlantic, through the issuing of ‘savage’ fishing licences and controlling access to Antarctica”
The British Overseas Territory normally hosts around 1500 military personnel and has done since Argentina’s illegal invasion of 1982. These numbers are expected to be bolstered in the next few week in the lead up to the Islands’ referendum and because of the increasingly bellicose language emanating from Argentina. The referendum is expected to confirm the Islanders’ wish to remain British and is in exercise of their right of self-determination under the United Nations’ Charter.
Britain first claimed the archipelago in 1765 and has maintained a colony there since 1841. Argentina’s first attempt to seize the Islands by force was in 1829 when the Government in Buenos Aires was warned by the British to stay away. This was followed by a minor police action in 1833 to remove a trespassing garrison of Argentine troops. Argentina has since claimed that the British “usurped’ them and stole the Islands.